|From the Editor|
Many of you will probably agree that April was a whirlwind of a month! I’m wrapping up the school year as both a student and a teacher and I haven’t had much time to wind down. But in those rare free moments, I roll down the windows in my car (even though it is still only 50 degrees here!) and drive along the seacoast. There is something so cathartic about ocean breeze and quiet sunsets. It is certainly a bittersweet month and I am looking forward to all of the new beginnings that May will bring. I hope you all have exciting things to look forward to as well!
This month is filled with news and updates about the IAC. Things are growing rapidly and we are excited to share it with you! Our authors also highlight the importance of social intelligence, recognizing client potential, and utilizing the IAC Masteries. There is a lot of valuable knowledge and insight for you to peruse!
Thank you for reading! Is there something you’d like to see in the VOICE? A particular subject you’d like us to address? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com with comments, questions, event notices, or article contributions. We are always looking for new perspectives and look forward to hearing from you.
Beth Ann Miller is an MFA candidate in Writing and is a native New Englander. She has a professional background in editing and higher education, and enjoys working with youths in the arts. Her stories have appeared in online and print journals and she is perpetually at work on new creative projects.
From the President – Vicki Zanini
Social Intelligence: Why it Matters When Achieving Coaching Mastery – Marissa Afton
Path to Mastery: How to Expand Our Client’s Potential – Ed Britton
Transformation of the Learning Agreements – Natalie Tucker Miller
Licensing Committee Column – Charlie Boyer
IAC Coaches’ Reading Club
IAC Reading Club Review – Sue Poucher
Bellingham Chapter Coaching Salon and Mixer Event Notice
From the President
“A real conversation always contains an invitation. You are inviting another person to reveal herself or himself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want.” – David Whyte
One of the things I treasure most about being part of the IAC community is participating in the many conversations and discussions. The above quote by poet David Whyte really captures the richness and the gift that coaching offers.
I had the privilege of participating in April’s monthly Path to Mastery Teleconference facilitated by our very own Director of Development, Ed Britton. As a student of the Masteries myself, and someone who is leading my own Masteries study group, it was an honor to introduce Mastery #2, Perceiving, Affirming and Expanding the Client’s Potential. One of the participants commented that the IAC Masteries really came to life for her in the conversations occurring in these teleconferences. We invite you to join the conversation in May when Ed and IAC Vice President, Pepe del Rio discuss Mastery #3, Engaged Listening.
The IAC Coaches Reading Club is another place to join a conversation. Terri Hase, IAC treasurer and US/Canada Regional Coordinator, facilitates a conversation about a different book on the third Thursday of every month at 1:00pm Eastern Time. It’s free to everyone! Visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/coachesreadingclub to learn more.
Sue Poucher of Sacramento, California recently submitted a book review on “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, 10th Anniversary Edition”, by Jack Canfield with Janet Switzer. This was the IAC Coaches Reading Club’s book for March. As I read her review I couldn’t help but think about how the IAC Masteries supports the principle: Take 100% For Your Life. Thank you, Sue, for sharing so generously. For anyone wanting participate in these types of conversations, join the IAC Reading Club.
Are you working on a Learning Agreement? Here’s an idea for an activity: Next time you are reading a book – you might even revisit an old favorite – see if you can identify any of the IAC Masteries being demonstrated. This can be done with fiction or non-fiction. This works with movies as well!
I once heard someone say that life occurs in a conversation. Being a part of the IAC is truly a rich and meaningful conversation and I enjoy sharing the journey with you.
Vicki Zanini is founder of Vicki Zanini Coaching & Training. As a certified holistic life coach, she works with individuals and groups who are ready to create new possibilities, boost personal effectiveness, and experience a deeper sense of meaning and inner peace. She has been leading coaching groups and workshops for over 15 years in personal development, self-care, creativity, and intuition. Visit her website at www.vickizanini.com.
Imagine two coaches in mid-session, each facing a critical juncture in their respective client processes.
Coach #1 is gently guiding the progression of the discussion: her client is talking about a current struggle with an important relationship in his life. Coach #1 is actively listening to her client, modulating her vocal tone and pace to match her client’s, allowing space and silence for her client to contemplate his options and come up with his own ideas. At the end of the session, her client has a clear goal and action plan, plus the confidence needed to execute it and achieve success.
Coach #2 is also engaging the client as he talks through a crucial issue he is having with his faltering business. As Coach #2 starts to offer advice in an effort to help her client become unstuck, she begins to talk over him, missing important cues that would indicate that she is losing control over the direction of the coaching session. As her client becomes more frustrated, his own thinking is muddled, and he begins to shut down. By the end of the session, both client and coach are confused about why more progress wasn’t made, and both are disappointed with the outcome.
Aside from the obvious divergence between these two coaching styles, one element stands out as the difference between coaching incompetence and coaching mastery: social intelligence.
Social intelligence is the field of social science research and psychology that speaks to how well we are able to gauge another’s internal state of being in the moment and respond accordingly. In recent years, social intelligence has become mainstream as its popular use increases in multiple personal and professional settings. If we think of emotional intelligence as the study and practice of how we manage our individual emotions in different situations, social intelligence, simply put, speaks to how we manage ourselves in relationship to other people, plus our level of skill in handling complex social situations. It is this understanding of our capacity for social intelligence, and our ability to strengthen it, that coaches stand to benefit from in their journey towards coaching mastery.
From a mental science perspective, humans are hard-wired to be social. Our brains contain specialized neurons (called “mirror neurons”) whose very job it is to sense and respond to others in our environment. Social neuroscience has demonstrated that there is a biological imperative to having good social intelligence: the better we are at reading and interpreting the emotional states of those around us, the more likely we will be able to make quick decisions about how to react and respond in ways that benefit all.
But having the hard-wiring for social intelligence doesn’t guarantee proficiency. More likely than not, each of us can remember a time when we have been on the receiving end of an interaction with someone who did not demonstrate masterful social intelligence. As coaches it behooves us to develop this skill. Our coaching interactions — and client breakthroughs — may depend on it. In a very real way we influence how our clients think, the way they respond to us, and the manner in which they approach their coaching challenges, both positively and negatively. Research has even shown that we can ‘catch’ other people’s emotions: if we’ve ever been snapped at or unfairly treated and it affects our own outlook or behavior, we have ‘caught’ somebody else’s emotional state. That means if we are un-centered, unclear, have an agenda, or are disengaged from our sessions, our clients may be adversely impacted by our emotional state (and most likely won’t even consciously understand why).
Several of the coaching masteries indirectly imply a need to exercise a high degree of social intelligence. “Establishing and Maintaining a Relationship of Trust” (Mastery #1), “Engaged Listening” (Mastery #3), “Processing in the Presence” (Mastery #4) and “Expressing” (Mastery #5) each offer opportunities to flex our social intelligence muscles and choose to respond – rather than react – to our client moment by moment.
Improving one’s “social radar” – the ability to read our client’s inner emotional state and modulate our responses accordingly – is key in attaining the next level of coaching mastery that we seek. Reviewing the measurements of success in the above mentioned coaching masteries (accessible via the eBook here) offers straightforward guidelines and clues on how you can strengthen this important skill.
A coach who has worked to develop his or her social intelligence can expect to positively impact clients in ways that have lasting effects beyond the coaching hour. Since our capacity for emotional regulation, clarity and centeredness (all aspects of refined social intelligence) will enable others to focus, problem solve and feel better about themselves, it becomes a win-win for client AND coach. The good news is, with a little practice, anyone can improve their social intelligence capabilities and reap the benefits for themselves and for others.
Marissa Afton is a partner at Cognitive Change Concepts, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in integrating cognitive psychology and neuroscience to positively influence organizational change. A sought-after executive coach, Marissa has worked extensively with leaders of Fortune 500 companies across the globe, helping them apply social intelligence and other transformational leadership skills to become more impactful with their teams and subordinates. Marissa is also a founding member with the IAC.
Expanding potential is a key “value adding” Mastery. Potential simply means what could be accomplished if our full capabilities are thoroughly engaged. It addresses the capability, the strengths and resources, that a person has to draw on in achieving. One core approach that we can take is to help our client to recognize existing potential.
Almost everyone underestimates his or her existing potential. For instance, we do not recognize what can be accomplished over time with bite sized, persistent, regular effort.
I like this analogy for making the point about persistent effort: Consider a single drop of water. Its volume is about 0.05 millimeters – a very small amount. If one drop dripped into a 5 liter bucket every second, after a minute there will be only 3 ml of water in the bucket – not even enough to cover the bottom. After an hour, there will be 180 ml in the bucket, and that might just cover the bottom without moving up the sides. If you were in charge of dripping water into the bucket, you could understandably suppose that you would never get anywhere, especially if you factor in the rate of evaporation! However, if you persisted all day and all night, you would almost have a full bucket! If you kept going for a year, you would fill 315 buckets with water.
Persistent, undistracted effort is a rare commodity, but it can achieve results that astonish. One way that we can help our client’s to understand what they can accomplish is to do the math. To an author, for example: How much time does it take you to write a page? (Say, one hour.) How long would it take you to write your 300 page book, if you found one hour a day? (One year). That’s potential.
To a parent needing to reach a child: What does your child really like? (Doughnut)s. How could you share doughnuts with your child? (We have a doughnut café just 10 minutes away.) How often could you take him in a week? (Twice). Tell me, if you took him twice a week for six months, how would that affect your relationship? That’s potential.
To the employee who wants a promotion: Who knows what you need to do to get your promotion? (My boss). How would your boss respond if you asked her how you need to prepare for the next step in your career? (She’d tell me.) How often would you feel comfortable speaking with her about it? (Once a week). What would happen if you spoke to her about it once a week for six months? (For sure, I’d be ready for the promotion.) That’s potential.
There are many other kinds and sources of potential. The “one drop at a time” kind of potential is applicable to almost every intention, and yields truly unexpected results.
To expand your coaching potential, join us in Path to Mastery coaching triads to practice what you learn about coaching from reading the IAC VOICE. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ed Britton is a career and leadership coach who lives in Calgary, Canada. He also serves the IAC as the Director of Development and leads the Path to Mastery coaching triads program. Ed has a background in the physical sciences, in adult education and leadership development. After living in China for 10 years, Ed looks forward to a Canadian winter and cross country skiing! If you would like to participate in the Path to Mastery coaching triads program, please contact Ed at email@example.com.
The IAC Learning Agreements will soon have another name, a name that better reflects the purpose, intent and overall process of supporting coaching growth via The IAC Coaching Masteries®.
Transitioning alongside the new, upcoming website will be the Masteries Professional Development Plan, including more details about how creating this plan for your expanding depth as a coach can be an invaluable tool.
This process, since its inception (see here), has been committed to staying true the IAC’s philosophy of honoring all coach training/learning approaches (most notably, self-directed learning.) The IAC has complete trust in their coaches to know what is in the very best interest of their own coaching growth. Therefore, the continuing education component is most appropriately informed by you, as you are the person responsible for your professional and personal evolution.
With that in mind, we would like to know what kind of support you’d appreciate when devising your Masteries Professional Development Plan. What would help you feel more confident, what would help you to better understand how these plans can support your growth as you prepare for completing your annual proposals?
Your ideas are most welcomed, by posting a comment here, or sending me an email at LeadCertifier@certifiedcoach.org.
I encourage you to reach out if you have any questions, suggestions or just want to say hello!
Do you have a question that you’d like to ask the certifiers? Submit your questions here: http://certifiedcoachblog.typepad.com/blog/ask-the-certifiers.html.
Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, is the Lead Certifier and a certifying examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. Natalie is founder of Ageless-Sages.com Publishing (www.ageless-sages.com), and creator of the literary genre, Picture Books for Elders™.
Please send your questions on the IAC Coaching Masteries® and the certification process to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Licensing Committee continues to meet monthly to consider a variety of related topics, including budgeting income from license fees, application procedures and requirements, discussion and approval of license application, and other issues as they arise. We have an open, flexible agenda, and our talks are always lively and productive.
We want to remind applicants for new and renewal licenses that the “M.P.” designation is now a minimum requirement for licensure. When an application is submitted, the Committee will need to verify that an applicant is a member of IAC, has passed the IAC written exam, and has submitted a Learning Agreement.
More than half our total licensees are from Spanish-speaking countries, with others from places as diverse as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia. We have been working to develop ways to better serve our licensees whose principal language is other than English. We’ve a ways to go, but we believe we have made a good deal of progress, thanks to the bi-lingual abilities of Pepe del Rio. The Committee really needs at least one member who is fluent both in Spanish and English to assist us. If you are qualified and interested in serving IAC on the Licensing Committee, please contact us via the email link below.
Our recent work has involved a lot of clarifying of a number of procedures and requirements for licensure. The “M.P.” designation, mentioned above, is one example of these efforts. What we’ve found is that clarifying one thing usually leads to another, and so our next major task will be to review and revise the Licensing Handbook that will be accessible from the IAC website.
Since 2011, Pepe del Rio has chaired the Licensing Committee, but he will soon be leaving the Committee to serve IAC in another role. Deb Chisholm has agreed to serve as Chair and is working closely with Pepe during this time of transition. A huge Thank You! To Pepe for his superb work on this Committee!
Committee members Pepe del Rio, Deb Chisholm, and Charlie Boyer welcome your suggestions and comments. Contact the Licensing Committee at email@example.com.
The book for May is Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande:
What if the modern world needed a shake up around how it’s top performers approached their jobs? What if it was as simple as a checklist? This essential read is for anyone working with, or helping others achieve their best results, (and who might be doing them same in their own lives too.)
Interested in becoming a bigger part of the Reading Club? Our Reading Club facilitator, Terri Hase, is also looking for a co-facilitator to join the fun, help with book selection, and author outreach. Are you the bibliophile, and fun loving volunteer, that is perfect for the job? Contact Terri now: Treasurer@certifiedcoach.org
Principle 1: Take 100% for your life
About a year before I encountered this principle, I had learned in a twelve-step program how to stop playing the “blame game.” However, I was still in the process of learning how to fully take responsibility for my life when I obtained my first copy of The Success Principles. I can safely say that that book has changed my life for the better by giving me clear directions as to how I can take 100% responsibility for my life and actually create a life I want to be a part of.
One of the things that make this book so powerful is the stories. Each principle is illustrated by one or more stories of real people who have used that specific principle to make their life better. As you continue through your coaching practice, I am willing to bet that you will find your clients in these stories. We have all been there, and here is the perfect book to help us get out of there. Each chapter is laid out to give clear steps on how to apply the principle in your life in order to reach your goals.
For those who are already familiar with this book, I highly recommend updating to this 10th Anniversary Edition. There are new stories and the ideas and stories in Part VI: Success in the Digital World has dragged me kicking and screaming into the beginning of wisdom in my transition from paper and pen to being a blogger and a participant in social media.
All of the participating members of our book club agreed that this book is useful as a reference for coaches, as a book to work through with clients, and as a good manual for self-development. We all thought that the book was timely and very useful.
What: Bellingham IAC Chapter (aka The Northwest Corner Coaches), Coaching Salon and Mixer. Door Prizes, Live Coaching Open to the Public, Live Music and more!
With International Coaching Week rapidly approaching, some of your neighbors and colleagues are having a little get-together, and you’re invited! If you live near Bellingham Washington, USA, this is your chance to see some friendly IAC coaching faces and make some great connections.
This only happens once a year — let’s make it special! The Bellingham IAC Chapter is holding a Coaching Salon and Mixer and they’d love to have you stop by.
If you host an IAC Chapter and would like to announce your special events, please send info by the 10th of the month for publication in the following month to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you miss the deadline and would like the event on the IAC homepage calendar, send your information to: email@example.com.
Congratulations to Umut Kisa from Istanbul, Turkey who recently earned the Masteries Practitioner Designation!
We’d love to get your feedback on any issue related to the IAC. Do you have any questions, concerns, encouragement or ideas for improvement regarding membership benefits, certification, the VOICE, the direction of the organization or anything else at all? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please help us improve.